When investing time and spend from your marketing budget into creating memorable brand experiences, what are you hoping to inspire in your audience? Curiosity? Passion? Loyalty? Creating memories that last beyond the time spent in physical engagement with your brand is a core objective of a great brand experience. At Cogs & Marvel, we believe one of the best ways to design an impactful brand experience is by looking at how children play.
Sparking imagination, encouraging play, and allowing children to independently explore and discover things for themselves can awaken passions that become the cornerstone of how they view and engage with the world. Children are naturally creative, curious, and playful; taking the time to appreciate the mindset we have evolved from helps us design memorable experiences for the child inside our clients. As Ken Robinson said during his famous Ted Talk, “we’re all born creatives, it’s just been educated out of us”. Deep connection with your brand can be achieved by creating an environment of play and self-discovery.
Here’s a list of child-centred experiences to inspire new ways of engaging the children within your audience.
Crayola Experience: USA
Crayola Experience is a creative activity centre designed to allow children to explore their artistic freedom and discover new ways to express their creativity. Every touchpoint stimulates the brain through colour – as could be expected from the brand best known for its crayons.
In an interactive, fun, and engaging setting, the Crayola Experience blends technology with fun activities – appealing to the youngest generation who intuit how to use technology before they can walk or talk.
The Lego-themed vacation destination in Florida consists of a theme park, water park, and attractions, with restaurants and accommodation, including bungalows designed to resemble giant Lego sets.
As this is a self-contained resort, the people visiting are completely encompassed in the Lego experience. The attractions in the resort are multisensory and engaging, combining technology with imagination, allow the kids to explore, create, and build lasting memories.
Playmobil Funpark is an interactive activity theme park in Zindorf, Germany. Life sized models of popular Playmobil playsets (Pirates, Dinos, Farm, Gold Mine, etc.) ignite the children’s imagination, allowing them to play with the Playmobil animals and characters at their scale. The focus of the park is on activity and getting children moving; there are plenty of areas for climbing and scrambling, with boating and water slides in the park.
Warner Bros Studio Tour, The Making of Harry Potter: UK
Stemming from the 1997 original story to become one the bestselling book series and one of the biggest movie series of all time, the Harry Potter franchise has been delighting kids (young and old) for over 20 years. The Warner Bros exhibit takes you behind the scenes and into the filmic world of Harry Potter. Running through the barrier to Platform 9 ¾, onto the Hogwarts Express, being sorted into your house, learning to ride a broomstick, choosing your wand, and walking through the iconic sets…the experience is designed to inspire the feeling that you are in on the magic, that the world you grew up imagining lives up to every expectation.
Walt Disney World: USA
This list would not be complete without the quintessential childhood experience: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Children are transported into the world of Disney as soon as they arrive, surrounded by the buildings and streets of their favourite disney film. They can interact with their favourite characters that roam through the crowds, play dress up, and absorb the magic of all things Disney.
The magic of the Disney experience is never broken: the employees are always in character, music plays throughout the park, with the park constantly innovating to create new experiences for kids of all ages to return to again and again to find new surprises and magic moments. Walt Disney himself had said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
Universal Studios, Florida: USA
Universal Studios is home to two theme parks, a water park, and a nighttime entertainment complex. The attractions and rides are inspired by the Universal film universe, designed in conjunction with the film creators from the Harry Potter series, Despicable Me, The Simpsons, and many more.
The broad range of experiential attractions suit the older age range of children, who are more brand aware and make more conscious decisions about what they like and don’t like and are more heavily influenced by marketing and branding.
In the ultimate consumer experience directed solely at kids, KidZania is a child-sized indoor city where kids can “try the world on for size”. Checking in at a British Airways check in desk, each kid is given an RFID bracelet and kidZos (the KidZania currency), from where they enter the “real world”: they can set up a bank account, find a job as a dentist, a firefighter, or police officer, or working for a named brand in a TV studio (Al Jazeera) , at a radio station (Heart) or newspaper (Metro). There are over 60 role playing experiences to choose from, where the kids independently interact with brands such as Cadburys, Eat Natural, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Innocent Smoothies, H&M, and Pokémon – brands looking to instill brand recognition and loyalty in the young audience.
At the end of the day, it’s the fun day out that the kids will remember. At Tayto Park, kids and parents can engage in a multitude of high energy activities, including ziplining, amusements, and the Cú Chulainn roller coaster (Ireland’s first and Europe’s largest wooden rollercoaster). Kids can play in the vortex tunnel or the large playground area, then visit the park’s zoo to learn about animal conservation and meet the farm animals at the petting zoo.
To connect the park with the Tayto brand, kids are greeted by Mr Tayto on arrival. Families can take a self-guided tour of the Tayto Factory to learn about how the famous crisps are made and, following a day of fun and excitement, they can collect their favourite packets of Taytos to enjoy on the way home – leaving the kids with a lasting impression of the Irish brand.
At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.
Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.